Mercedes aero innovation will be banned until 2023 | So Good News


With the new “ground effect” rules introduced in Formula 1 for 2022, the FIA’s goals were to reduce the “wash” that creates turbulent air behind the cars and therefore make it easier to follow and overtake. The regulations contain a “catch-all clause” that allows the FIA ​​to ban any innovation that may technically be in compliance with the rules but creates additional “flushing”.

In Article 3.2.1 of the F1 Technical Regulations: “An important objective of the Regulation in Article 3 is to enable cars to compete closely by ensuring that the loss of aerodynamic performance of a car following another car is minimised.

Competitors may be required to provide the FIA ​​with any relevant information to verify that this objective has been achieved.

Nicholas Tombazis

The FIA ​​will change the 2023 technical regulations

The FIA ​​announced this week that it plans to ban the Mercedes front wing concept first brought to the Miami GP and the Aston Martin rear wing design first seen in Budapest.

Nicolas Tombazis, FIA Single Seat Technical Director: “Of course, both were legal this year. The rules on the front end and the back end have changed in different ways to stop these decisions.”

Aston Martin creatively designed the rear wing end panels to resemble the armrests of the seats. The effect of this was to draw air into the tip of the rear wing, increasing downforce, but more importantly increased the “dirty air” behind the car.

Although Aston Martin’s concept was ruled illegal, the team’s performance director Tom McCullough told Autosport he was proud of their bold and innovative decision within the restrictive 2022 regulations.

Aston Martin pleased with their design

“I think the best thing about this year is that we came up with something new and fresh,” he said

“It was very difficult to explain the rules that added performance to our car. This was a part that people couldn’t copy very quickly because of how complicated it was to get around several different rules.

McCullough admits the Aston Martin won “advantage” This year, “Because when we brought it to Budapest, it was too late for people to understand it and start acting on the cost limit. [perspective], they have already developed their own high-low-down wings. So I was really happy.”

During the design there were many contacts with the FIA “concern” between the team and F1’s governing body. The wing was accepted under the rules, but McCullough admits “If they [the regulations] If it changes, we really have to adapt to it.”

Is the catch-all rule fair?

The FIA ​​is walking a tightrope following the entire agenda of Article 3.2.1, as in-season innovation and car development has always been part of Formula 1’s DNA.

FIA single-seater technical director Nicolas Tombazis was asked if the FIA ​​had changed the rules for 2023 because they thought certain designs had harmed the race.

“Some of the things we’ve changed the rules for fall into that category,” he said.

“But this article [3.2] “Well, if you’re smart and you’ve got a solution, we’ll get him out of the car right away.” It just explained why sometimes we have to mess with the rules.

“But we still managed to do it. We don’t have the right to say: “We don’t like it, let’s ban it.”

An F1 team design leak would be a disaster

The FIA ​​has proven to be a “leaking bucket” this season with reports of Red Bull Racing breaching spending limits, before any official announcements have been made.

However, the new process, which the team will discuss in detail and provide technical drawings of new innovations, Tombazis and his team will have to insist on keeping the technical secrets of the F1 teams in question, otherwise the whole process will become disreputable.

Mercedes apparently had an inside information advantage over the technical directive when it came to Canada with a revised floor that had not been designed and could not be produced since the publication of the technical directive.

Mercedes played their hand early by bringing a radical front wing design to the Miami GP. The valves were aggressively arched forward and the bottom edge of the endplate ended up being detached from the valves.

This actually compensates for some of the “rinse” lost by the new technical regulations for 2022.

This will also be banned in 2023, along with Aston’s rear wing design.

Mercede’s pain should be limited

Tombazis concludes: “Of course, both were legal this year. The rules on the front end and the back end have changed in different ways to stop these decisions.”

While the Mercedes Miami wing initially appeared to add little performance to the car, when combined with the upgrades the team brought to Barcelona, ​​it was one small silver bullet the team found for the underperforming W13.

Mercedes will be redesigning their car’s suspension for the winter, so given the need to get much more out of the revised chassis, the rule changes introduced by the FIA ​​should be minor.

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